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August 5, 2011

By the Numbers: 29

by Nathan Skytta

During the 2011 off-season, stay tuned to and for regular installments of "By the Numbers." In these articles and photo galleries, the Admirals will take a look at jersey numbers in AHL Admirals history, listing each player to have worn a specific number while highlighting the Admirals careers of the bigger-name players.

Click here for more photos of #29 Once worn by future hall-of-fame goaltender Martin Brodeur for four games during the 1992-93 season, the number 29 has seen the backs of many athletes throughout history. Also worn by the likes of former NHL netminder Felix "The Cat" Potvin, and hall-of-famers Rod Carew and Eric Dickerson, the number 29 has become famous throughout the sporting world. There have been eight AHL Admirals to have sported the number 29.

Casey Hankinson
Casey Hankinson/Photo by Yvonne Paxson With the 201st overall pick in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft, the Chicago Blackhawks selected Casey Hankinson out of the University of Minnesota. Hankinson joined the Admirals during their inaugural AHL season in 2000-01, leading the team with a career-high 30 goals while assisting on 21 others for 51 points. Hankinson would go on to play in 219 career games an Admiral recording 76 goals and 79 assists for 155 points.

After playing in 14 games for the Blackhawks between 2000 and 2003, Hankinson moved to Anaheim where he played 58 combined games for the Mighty Ducks and their farm team in Cincinnati between the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons. Hankinson played four games for Chaux-de-Fonds of the Swiss-B League before retiring following the 2004-05 season.

Hankinson was the first player to record 100 points in an AHL Admirals sweater. His 76 career goals with Norfolk were an AHL Admirals record until being surpassed by Brandon Bochenski in 2009-10. Hankinson currently ranks sixth in points, second in goals, seventh in assists and ninth in games played in AHL Admirals history.

After announcing his retirement from professional hockey, Hankinson opened the Hankinson Hockey School in his hometown of Edina, Minnesota. Hankinson was recently named vice president of development for the Midwest Region of Ryan Companies US, Inc.

Corey Crawford
Corey Crawford/Photo courtesy of Chicago Blackhawks Originally selected in the second round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, goaltender Corey Crawford made his professional debut with the Admirals on October 14, 2005. In parts of two seasons with the Admirals, Crawford reset the AHL Admirals record books.

In his two seasons as an Admirals netminder, Crawford compiled a 60-43-3 record, ranking second all-time in victories in AHL Admirals history. His 38 wins in 2006-07 are the most in a single-season in AHL Admirals history, while he also set single-season records for appearances (60) and minutes (3467) that year. Crawford also owns the record for longest home winning streak (11) and most saves in a game with 54.

Crawford made his NHL debut on January 22, 2006, in relief of former Admirals netminder Adam Munro. On March 5, 2006, Crawford turned aside all 19 shots he faced from the Anaheim Ducks in notching is first NHL victory and shutout.

After taking over the reins of starting goaltender for Chicago midway through the last season, Crawford led the Blackhawks into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In his official rookie season, Crawford posted a 33-18-6 record with a 2.30 goals-against average (8th best in the NHL) and .917 save percentage.

On May 19, 2011, Crawford was rewarded for his performance between the pipes. He and the Blackhawks agreed to a three-year contract extension, keeping him in the Windy City until at least 2014.

Mitch Fritz
Mitch Fritz/Photo by Robert Twine Mitch Fritz, the latest Admiral to wear the number 29, became a fan favorite the minute he stepped on the ice in Norfolk.

After making his professional debut during the 2000-01 season, Fritz spent parts of nine seasons traveling through the minor leagues of hockey.

Prior to joining the Admirals before the 2009-10 season, Fritz skated for eight other AHL franchises, including Lowell, Hamilton, Saint John, Milwaukee, Worcester, Springfield, Hartford and Bridgeport. Fritz was honored for his community service efforts with the Yanick Dupré Memorial Award as the AHL Man of the Year in 2005-06 while with the Springfield Falcons.

Fritz made his NHL debut with the New York Islanders on October 30, 2008 against the Philadelphia Flyers. In 20 NHL games, Fritz has recorded 42 penalty minutes.

Over the last two seasons as an Admiral, Fritz has appeared in 84 games, tallying two goals and seven points to go along with 193 penalty minutes.

On December 5, 2009, Fritz appeared in his 500th professional game. In 558 career professional games, Fritz has totaled 26 goals and 69 points while racking up 1,652 penalty minutes.

Remaining Players
Crawford is one of six goaltenders who wore the number 29 for the Admirals. Former NHL veteran netminders Marc Denis and Steve Passmore each donned 29 when they spent time in Norfolk. Denis, who started his time in Norfolk wearing number 29 before switching to number 39, notched 11 wins in 32 games played in 2007-08. Passmore wore three different numbers while recorded nine wins in three seasons in Norfolk. Passmore began his Admirals career wearing #35 in 2001-02 before switching to #30 in 2002-03 and #29 in 2003-04. Goaltenders Morgan Cey, Jason Wolfe, and Karl Goehring also wore 29 during their brief tenures with the Admirals.

Players wearing #29 in AHL Admirals history:
Casey Hankinson (2000-01 – 2002-03)
Steve Passmore (2003-04)
Jason Wolfe (2003-04, dressed as backup goaltender, did not play)
Corey Crawford (2005-06 – 2006-07)
Morgan Cey (2007-08)
Karl Goehring (2007-08)
Marc Denis (2007-08)
Mitch Fritz (2009-10 – 2010-11)

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